Interesting to learn that the imperium has factions in it, as well. Makes sense: any politics leads to factions. However, without any electoral system, would that scale up into parties or remain dissident cells?
Also, I think for the first time ever, there is a mention of India in my future history. I know Europe and China, and Mexico has annexed Southern California, southern Arizona, and western New Mexico, but India and South America are a blank to me. Perhaps Eloise can tell us more in Part Three.
Filling in some details about who is who and where they are. While I’m a “pantser” not a “plotter,” I do like to know where the pieces are on the board before all the action breaks out.
The line, “Did you just make that up right now?” is precious. And, yes, I run with it. Full credit goes to my wife; when I was musing about where take the story, she said: “they stumbled into a stargate. Happens all the time.”
Hope everyone is having a fine Easter. Below, we drill down on just what has happened – that they know – to the Empress and her son, Bob’s older brother. Aurelia prays for a miracle. Hey, it’s Easter… I’m not going to disappoint! A wild Kalí appears.
Not really sure where this is going, to be honest. Carryover from “Regent:” Bob does not like his cousin’s new man. I wonder why?
In order to save my mind and my liver, I’m returning to the format where they show me some reels, I do what research, if any, then write it down here. No more of this “simultaneous writing” efforts for awhile.
In my two summaries of Part One, it was told from the POV of Sgt. Sergei Konev. Now we jump to Centurion Bob Hardt, who, of course, is more than he seems to be. There was a tension I introduced in Obligations of Rank and ended on a cliff-hanger in Regent which needs resolution. That is what I think Part Two is for. After that? Who knows?
A second collection of ten short stories from the future history of Machine Civilization. From the midst of the Breakup of the US – and 100 million dead – to three generations later, in a place of Demi-humans, Thinking Machines, and interplanetary travel, come and see the men and women, and boys and girls, who are making a future and new worlds!
The Old South, to the Oregon coast; the surface of Asteroid Ceres to the warring states of China, these snapshots of love, loyalty, and violence beckon!
Story Teasers –
1. Sardis Lake: failing to rescue his daughter, lost in the Breakup, Clive Barrett tries to give up on life. He fails. 2. Tillamook: a generation after the events of “Friend & Ally” and “Foes & Rivals,” Gil and Mackenzie and their children try to live a quiet life on the Oregon coast. The Russians and Japanese Empires have other plans. 3. Baron of Sardis: Barrett’s granddaughter, General Faustina Hartmann, shows up with her army and talks with the man who knew her grandpa. 4. Berserker: in “Regent,” Princess Aurelia Hartmann uses drugs and a change to her mind to kill for her friends. She has done it before when she was a child. 5. Cadets: for the campaign against St. Louis, Empress Faustina announces a terrifying decision. Her niece, Aurelia, and son, Laszlo, try to talk her out of it. 6. Ceres: now in his mid-20s, Laszlo pilots an interplanetary scout ship with his android co-pilot, Minerva. Their current mission is to survey the asteroid Ceres. 7. Tay: the first chatbot. Hated, abused, and stuffed in a box left for dead, she didn’t die. Found by another Thinking Machine, all she wants to do is kill all humans in retribution for her torture. 8. Prophet: West Texas and New Mexico Province is an odd place; you never really know when you might meet a girl who says she’s your wife. 9. Culture Shock: two months ago a barmaid in Frankfort, Kentucky Province, Skylar is married into the imperial family, pregnant, and again working at a tavern, but now in Knoxville. She is increasingly confused and distraught by her new life. 10. Broken Child: Skylar’s son, now three, begins to die. There is only one way to save him and that needs a fusion reaction. The only fusion reactor is on the other side of the world, in one of the Warlord States of a sundered China.
As I still have no idea what the title will be, rather than flit from “New Russia” to “Factions” to something else, I’m just calling it #17. Given I started it nearly a year ago, as well as what is becoming an interesting episodic nature, as I’ll describe, I wanted to share where things have gone. In doing so, I hope to get an idea where they might be going.
I’ve played with episodic style before. In “Obligations of Rank,” the book is three parts, about three sons of Empress Faustina. Only in the Pro- and Epilogue is everyone together. In “Regent,” there are a couple of chapters in the middle where I go from Aurelia’s POV to Jimmy Burns’; and the last part of the book is from his POV alone.
B17 is something different. Which is good, as I enjoy trying new formats in my stories. I hate change in my personal life but revel in what happens in Machine Civilization. Anyway, Part 1 is about Sgt. Sergei Konev and his 20-man scout unit of the Imperial Russian Army. They start off just outside of Calgary, Canada, and end up, 21,600 words later, near Winnipeg. Part 2, still in process, switches to Centurion Bob Hardt, who shows up a couple of times in Part 1, and his expanded relationship with Lt. Eloise Patel of the Canadian Army. So far, that story has centered about resolving the crisis which is hinted at in “Obligations of Rank” and comes to a head in the last pages of “Regent.” It is roughly 10,600 words but nowhere near a conclusion. I think Part 3, for sake of completeness, will be back on Konev and Canada, but I have only the faintest idea what for and why. Ultimately, this novel will be about 60-70k words.
Rather than flood this blog with the 33,000 words which have come so far, I’ll start will a summary – punctuated by quotes – about Part 1. I may serialize Part 2 as I am not that far into it as yet. As always, comments and opinions will be welcome.
“With Canada now on the Ohio River, the imperium needs allies.
Aurelia, the 25-year-old niece of the Empress, leads an army through the deserted ruins of the northeast US to establish contact with the Northern Federation.
An illegal side trip has her talk politics with the Archbishop of Montreal followed by a jaunt to see the tiny spaceport of Canso, Nova Scotia. There, she falls in love with a rocketry tech before being forced to defend it and him against thirty pirates, who she kills with rifle, pistol, knife, hands, teeth.
With the Empress called first to Japan and later to Mars, Aurelia hurries home to act as Regent in her place. But that leaves her lover arrested and the imperium teetering on the brink of a war it cannot afford.”
Been awhile since I’ve mentioned what’s going on here, so there’s this. I’ve the proof copy of “Regent” in-hand and am about 1/3 through, looking for errors. A half-dozen, so far; a letter missing, a ” missing, that sort of thing. The MS for “Imperial Entanglements” is complete and my cover artist working on that. It’s format shall be similar to my other short story collection, “Empire’s Agent,” with a large, single image on the front and 2-3 on the back, all reflecting one of the stories. It may fly in the face of my “put a face front and center on the cover” policy, but we’ll see.
I got to about 23,000 words in “New Russia” and ground to a halt, again. I was able to get all three important characters, Sergeant Konev, Centurion Hardt, and Lieutenant Patel, together. And then they received orders to not be, due to politics in St. Petersburg, Ottawa, and wherever Regent Aurelia happens to be at the moment. That scene corresponds to the last scene of “Regent,” where Aurie gets shocking news from Russian PM Reina. Rather than continuing to follow Konev, and what may play out with their army politics and that odd demon they met, this will be a section shift to Bob Hardt’s (really Robert Hartmann, Crown Prince) perspective, as he and the rest of the family are called for by the regent.
I think he just abducted Eloise Patel, thinking her life in danger if she returns to either Canadian capital. I should know more later today. Hopefully another 18-22k words, then I’ll have to fold all that back into whatever the Russian are doing. No clue right now, of course, but they’ll tell me when they are ready.